The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
Sister and brother, Kate (Judah Lewis) and Teddy Pierce (Darby Camp), hatch a plan to catch Santa Claus on camera. When their sleuthing goes too far and causes Santa’s sleigh to crash, they must help to save Christmas.
This movie goes just as you’d expect. A troubled family, mourning the loss of a husband and father, somehow manage to come together on Christmas Eve to celebrate the magic of the holidays. Via some kid-friendly fun with good old St. Nick, his elves, reindeer, and CGI trickery to explain how Santa does all that he does.
We’ve seen this film, many, many times before. But I have to say I found comfort in that familiarity this time, and I was happy to sit through this Netflix original. It pushed all the right emotional buttons, tugged the right heartstrings, and somehow always managed to keep the proceedings light and fun.
You’d have to have a heart of coal not to find this story charming. Sure, it’s very predictable, but the cast makes this work, especially Kurt Russell who throws everything into his modern, slimmed down version of Santa, that bemoans his fat-man public image, and doesn’t say Ho-Ho-Ho. The Christmas Chronicles should keep the entire family happy. Even the moody teenagers who have stopped believing in Santa Claus.
Starring: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Oliver Hudson
Directed by: Clay Kaytis
Screenplay by: Matt Lieberman, David Guggenheim
Rating: TV-PG Running Time: 1 hr 44 min.